Google acquired 1,023 patents from International Business Machines (IBM) last August 17, but the fact was only made publicly known last September 13 (Tuesday) when the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) posted the records of the transaction.
A Google spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg today that the company did acquire new patents from IBM. The spokesperson, however, did not disclose other details such as the price. IBM representatives declined to comment either.
Bill Slawski of SEO by the Sea blog notes that the new patents from IBM cover a broad area, including patents related to desktop and server hardware, computer security, database processes, circuit design, parallel database systems and architecture, user authentication, and credit card/smartcard testing. He also noted patents related to Java and scripting, phone and wireless technology, and Web and search.
The company tried to buy–along with Intel–a large set of about 6,000 technology patents from Nortel in early July. Google lost the bid to a consortium composed of Android competitors, including Apple, Microsoft, RIM, EMC, Ericsson, and Sony.
The search giant also acquired some 1,030 patents from IBM in mid-July this year. Just like the newly acquired patents from IBM, those patents also covered a wide area, including memory and microprocessors, computer architecture, relational databases, objected-oriented programming, and business processes.
Google also inherited some 17,000 technology patents with its recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings for a hefty US$12.5 billion.
In a bid to “maintain [Google's] freedom to develop new products and services,” as well as to defend itself (and Android) against patent trolling and lawsuits, Google has been trying to accumulate and fortify its portfolio of patents. A formidable portfolio of patents, no doubt, can provide a protective shield against what Google Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond described as “a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, and other companies.”
Should Google buy more? What do you think?